Updated: Jan 22, 2020
Can Street Children be motivated? Of course yes and that's what i learnt in my recent interaction with a community of Street Connected Children organized by Childhood Enhancement Through Training and Action (CHETNA). I have never delivered a motivational talk to this community and wanted to understand and experience their lives so that I could do justice to my talk and relate to the audience. I spoke to a few friends and did some research to prepare for a session that I can definitely say was so very close to my heart.
A simple google search “Life of Street Children in India” offered me enough articles, videos and interviews on the plight of these children reminding me of a brutal parallel world that exists right in front of us and yet conveniently ignored.
Street Children are a common sight in metropolitan cities like Delhi / Mumbai / Bangalore etc., though I am sure they are almost everywhere. According to an article published in Business World, in 2018, over 2 Million children living on Streets in India. These street children live in extremely harsh conditions, have no security, inadequate nutrition and have little or no access to education.
I was also reminded of my early life memories about the lives of street children are from the movie Salaam Bombay, which I watched way back in 1990s when I was in school. At that point in time, neither the subject of the movie nor the message was understood by me. However, as I delivered this talk, something in me connected with the audience so very well that they sang and cheered out loudly (See 2 minute video below the post coming soon).
While there are always snippets to share from my session, this session in particular made me learn and revisit the following:
1) All of us are worth something – Yes, all of us - those who are privileged and can read this and even that child who is seeking your 5 seconds of attention on the street! Sometimes a smile and a pat on the back can work wonders, even if you are not willing to buy something.
2) Time changes everything – trust me, the children on the streets are not because they wanted to live a life like this. Life situations made them like that and time changes for everyone.
3) Try Volunteering – Lot of us struggle with finding life purpose and discovering our passion. If you are on a similar trip, try volunteering. Spend some time with these children or on a cause that’s dearer to you. If not for anything, you will have positive cashflow of Karma in your life :)